Insight driven sales and marketing with Salesforce AI


Those of us who thought that Salesforce CRM could not get any better had a pleasant surprise when Salesforce announced Einstein, its latest foray into the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Einstein is intended to bring intelligence into the assimilation and consumption of the huge mass of data that the Salesforce platform can collect like IoT data, e-commerce data, sales data, data generated from emails, and social networks. It uses smart technologies like machine learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing (NLP), and BeyondCore Smart Data Discovery to generate unique data insights across various Salesforce applications.

How is Salesforce making its Sales and Marketing offerings smart?

The Marketing Cloud Einstein aims to bring higher accuracy in predicting the optimal timing, the best channel, the most suitable audience, and the most effective content for all your marketing messages and campaigns. It marks a notable shift from the customary trend in data analytics to predict behavior and outcome based on historical data.

1. Predictive Scoring: With predictive scoring, marketers can determine the best way to achieve customer engagement and how to visualize and meet customer expectations. Machine learning and data science are used to predict the probability of a customer to open an email or click on an offer. Each known customer is scored based on this learning and predictive audience groups are created, which are groups of customers segmented based on their score. Marketers can then send out separate, targeted emails and offers to the group of customers who are more likely to purchase and the group of customers that need more convincing.

2. Automated Send-Time Optimization: The success of email marketing depends on whether the email is sent at the right time in a week, when the customer is most likely to view it. Salesforce AI takes the guessing out of the game by predicting the optimal time to send promotional emails to customers based on open/click data and data collected from various sources like Salesforce Chatter and e-commerce sites. With the automated send-time optimization, email marketers can obtain higher ROI on their marketing investment by sending out marketing mails at a time when their customers are most likely to click and act on them.

The Sales Cloud Einstein helps sales personnel to identify hot leads and opportunities. It can help them to detect customer relationships that are on the decline and tell them how to engage and reconvert such customers. Armed with AI, sales teams can gain better customer insight and thereby, increase their predictive abilities and their productivity.

3. Predictive Lead Scoring: This gives sales team an idea about conversion. This feature allows sales personnel to focus on leads that have a higher chance of ending in a sale. The technology uses a mix of static data like the business size and industry as well as real-time data like leads who have shown interest in a brand or product through emails or website interactions, including social media activities. This information is used to assign a fit score (if the incoming customer is a likely buyer) and an activity score (how active he or she has been in interacting with your brand). Predictive lead scoring drives high efficiency by telling your sales team on which leads they should focus on every day for best results.

4. Opportunity Insights: This gives sales representatives a real-time view of every opportunity as it develops. This feature monitors every account that is associated with the opportunity and alerts are sent when there is an upward or downward movement on the opportunity in relation to a customer account. This enables sales representatives to act swiftly and engage a customer who appears to be interested in making a purchase as well as rekindle interest in customers who appear to be drifting away from the brand.

5. Automated Activity Capture: This is designed to bring in high operational efficiency in sales by automating much of the manual update tasks that sales representatives have to do to keep their account status up to date. The automated activity capture syncs calendar and email activity with the right Salesforce record allowing sales personnel to easily keep track of their account. It also analyzes them to generate customer predictions.

Data and AI are at the core of Salesforce’s future direction and the company plans to enhance its AI features in upcoming releases. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud Einstein and the Sales Cloud Einstein will give sales and marketing teams an improved perspective of their customer and sales prospects. It will continue to make good use of data to deliver recommendations and predictions that can help marketers and sales personnel to take better decisions and make the most of business opportunities.

Gartner predicts that by 2017, enterprises that make decisions controlled by differentiated algorithms will see a 5-10% increase in revenue. Not every company has the capability to weave in artificial intelligence into its system. Salesforce, with its AI-enabled features and technology enhancing tools, can give businesses the power to use data to drive customer-friendly actions and behavior.

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Author : Rashmi Krishnan Date : 22 Nov 2016